Women who choose not to have children: a preliminary study
The British Psychological Society
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Women who choose not to have children have been largely overlooked in both mainstream and feminist literature, where the focus is more typically on childbirth and motherhood or reproduction and infertility. Using data obtained through semi-structured interviews with four women aged 45 and over, this paper presents the initial findings of an on-going constructivist grounded theory study with women who have chosen not to have children. Findings from category one suggest that participants had no desire to replicate motherhood. The reasons included their negative experiences and memories of family life. Access to education and introduction to feminist ideas helped develop a strong sense of agency. Ongoing reflection on their lives illustrated how adult relationships were prioritised over motherhood. Findings from the other three categories (briefly discussed) challenge some of the dominant ideologies and assumptions about women who choose not to have children.
Psychology of Women Section Review
O’Driscoll, R. & Mercer, J. (2015) 'Women who choose not to have children: a preliminary study', Psychology of Women Section Review 17, pp. 21-30
This article was published in Psychology of Women Section Review in 2015
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